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PhD Studentships – University of Reading

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PhD Studentships

PHD: effects of a flavonoid-rich wild blueberry intervention on cognition in healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairments (mci)

Supervisors: Professor Claire Williams (UoR) & Dr Ana Rodriguez-Mateos (KCL)

Closing Date for Applications: 1st August 2017

Provisional Interview Date: w/c 14th August 2017


Project Overview:

Diet represents one of the most important lifestyle factors strongly influencing the incidence and onset of cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Work from our laboratory has shown that blueberry consumption exert positive effects on executive functioning and memory in both healthy adults and children (Whyte & Williams, 2015; Whyte et al, 2015). Importantly, these beneficial effects on cognitive performance are seen within 2-5 hours post-dosing, a time course that positively correlates with improvements in vascular function (measured as flow-mediated dilation) shown after blueberry consumption (Rodriguez-Mateos et al, 2013; Rodriguez-Mateos et al, 2014), indicating that changes in blood flow may underlie the response to treatment. To date, no study has directly linked alterations in blood flow, particularly to the brain, with beneficial cognitive effects. In this project we propose a series of studies to directly link wild blueberry treatment with increased vascular and cerebral blood flow and positive cognitive outcomes in both healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment.



  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 BSc in Neuroscience, Nutrition, Experimental Psychology or a related and relevant discipline.
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU.


Funding Details: 3 years from September 2017; Full cost of Home/EU fees plus a maintenance stipend (provisional £14,533).

How to apply: To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Psychology to the University - see


Please quote the reference GS17-016 in the 'Scholarships applied for' box which should be inserted into the Funding Section of your online application.


Further Enquiries: For further details please contact Professor Claire Williams (


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